Saturday, 30 August 2014

Recommendations: the Splintered Trilogy by A.G Howard

The Splintered Trilogy follows a teenage girl named Alyssa Gardner, who is the great-great-great granddaughter of Alice Liddell, the child who inspired Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Throughout the series we tag along as Alyssa tries to figure out how to balance Wonderland and the real world, while find out who she really is. She's one of those characters that don't think they are that great, someone who always underestimates themselves, and that's what makes her relatable, because everyone thinks like that.

I first read Splintered in 2013 and it quickly became one of my favourites of that year as well as one of my favourite books of all time. I really loved the story of Alice in Wonderland growing up so I guess that's one of the main reasons I read it. But I never would've noticed it if not for the gorgeous cover, this book has one of the few covers that look amazing, but still represent the story.

A.G. (Anita Grace) Howard has such an amazing writing style. It was fast-paced, entertaining, and at times funny! It's so easy to fly through the books, because you constantly want to know what happens next, whether it be with crazy Wonderland and Morpheus, or with her friends and family (cough cough Jeb) back home on earth (or the real world).

Throughout the story the characters grow so much, and you really become attatched to them. This series doesn't have a lot of death in it so you don't have to worry about losing your favourite characters (as far as the first two books go). Also, the development of the world is so excellently written you can't help but be fascinated by it, Anita has created such a dark and twisted version of Wonderland, it's like discovering the original story all over again.

The first two books are titled Splintered and Unhinged, and the final book, Ensnared is set to be released January 2015. The series also has a prequel novella called The Moth in the Mirror, which is also really interesting to read.


This is such a fantastic read I recommend it to everyone! I think everyone will enjoy this no matter what your favourite genre is.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Published: Houghton Mifflin Books, June 4th, 2013
Pages: 336
Source: Hardcover, purchased
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: 3/5 (76%)

How I Felt: This is the second time I've read this book and my opinion has changed a bit since I first read it earlier this year. To me this book is like a mixture of the Hunger Games and Divergent. Every aspect is so similar to these other classic dystopian tales and  I found that unoriginal and repetitive at times (from the world itself, to the organization of society/social standings). But don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this book, it didn't take me too long to get through and there were some excellent quotable moments. I felt like the writing at times got a little tedious, the author started vividly describing every move our main character and protagonist, Cia made. While this gives a good description of the surroundings and gives you a good mental picture, it can make the story start to lag a bit. In the beginning our protagonist Cia goes from being this girl who is so excited to be graduating school and finally becoming an adult to one who instantly doubts everything the government tells her and has done. This is a quality we look for in dystopian characters, but I feel like on Cia it was sprung out of no where and became forced (which I found to be a recurring theme throughout the novel), we saw her sorting through her head in one paragraph and then she was completely on board with the idea that the government is no good. I also thought Cia's personality of intelligence and street smarts were a little forced, like the author was trying to  force Cia into this girl as smart as Katniss and as sharp and quick as Tris. I also felt like Tomas and Cia's relationship was sort of insta-love because she never talked about him before, but as soon as she saw him in the office where they were discussing travel to the University she immediately started talking about how they shared a moment last year when they danced together, and how every girl at school likes him so he probably won't like her. Then when they started the fourth test, he immediately pounced on her, saying how she was beautiful and that he loved her. I liked Cia's friendship with Daileen, and how she loved Cia so much she vowed to do really well in school so they could be together again at the University. The whole concept of the Testing is really twisted, cruel and cynical, but an effective way of evaluating who would be best suited to someday lead the United Commonwealth. The world this story is set in really reminded me of both the Hunger Games and Divergent. The way the colonies are set up remind me of the Districts, because a lot of colonies are responsible for certain things, and the colony our protagonist is from has been written off as week and useless much like District 12. Also, the fourth test was much like the Games themselves, the challengers were placed in an unknown location and told to survive through the wild so that 20 of them could win a chance to get a more of an education, and of course it wasn't against the rules to kill your fellow candidates, so a lot of students were quick to become murderers. And while Cia was in the middle of the fourth test she talks about how some people didn't agree with the laws and rules the government set up so they weren't a part of society anymore, kind of like the factionless from Divergent. I did enjoy this book though, I loved getting to see the different tests they put the candidates through because they require a lot of brain power and I found them very interesting. I also thought Dr. Barnes' and Will's characters had a lot of depth, which is what makes any good villain and so I'm excited to learn more about them. I am going to continue on with the series because I'm interested to see what happens to all the characters. I recommend this book if you're in a reading slump, because it isn't a hard book to get through. If I had to sum up this book in one sentence it would be: “A teenage girl trying to protect her loved ones, while also trying to find out what plans the corrupt government has in store.”

Favourite Quotes:
  • “Things don't always work out the way we hope. You just have to pick yourself up and find a new direction to go in.”
  • “The best leaders make mistakes and then learn from them. The best leaders never make the same mistakes again. The only way you can learn is if you understand the mistakes that were made.”
***Quotes taken from The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau and***
*Info on book taken from*

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: Entangled Teen, August 5th, 2014
Pages: 534
Source: Purchased, paperback
Genre: Sci-fi, Magical Realism
Rating: 5/5

How I Felt: This was the perfect conclusion to the fantastic Lux series. I picked up the first book in early July 2014 and since then it has quickly become one of my favourite series of all time. Jennifer has such a comical and fun writing style that is just so easy to read.


This series is incredibly relatable to many book-lovers/bloggers because our main, character Katy is one herself. But on the flip side she's also a mutated alien hybrid, how's that for a plot twist! This final book perfectly wrapped up the series in a way that isn't too devastating for readers. We start off the book right where Origin left off, after Dee, Daemon, and Dawson run off into the wood to unite with other fellow Luxen that have come down to Earth. Of course something happens and Katy ends up in the lions den which also happens to be where Daemon is, with these other Luxen. When Katy first comes in to Luxen's Earthen headquarters she's taken into a room with Rolland (head Luxen), Daemon, Sadi (a really annoying girl who works with Rolland), two other aliens; Quincey, and a guy who's never named. Daemon starts being incredibly mean to Kat at this point, while at the same time flirting with Sadi, and I'm just sitting in the sidelines trying to hold in my all consuming rage towards him. But later we switch to his P.O.V and we understand that he's doing it to protect Kat because the Luxen can get into each other's heads. For this reason the beginning of the book (60 or so pages) took me a while to get through because I didn't want to see my two favourite characters act like this. But after a while I started to get back into the story and really enjoy it. This book was so unbelievably action-packed and I LOVED it! Kat was so strong and brave in this book, and I really admired how she kept it together and dominated every situation. When we found out that Dee was brainwashed by the aliens I really started to worry that we were going to lose her because her character was so wishy-washy in the other books, but I was so thankful we got her back, and in such an action-packed way that was incredibly entertaining to read about! Luc was such a mysterious character from when we first met him, but in this book I grew great respect for him and how he always came through for the characters, and acted like a great friend, even though he refused to be called such. The amount of suspense built up in this book was incredible and led to one of the best climaxes ever! When Kat, Daemon, Hunter, and Archer went to the underground Arum capital, I found Lortho super creepy (as would anyone else reading the story), and I really thought he was going to feed off of Katy and I was surprised and confused when he didn't, but I kind of understood why he did it. The battle scene when the Arum came to the aid of our main posse was so epic! The characters in this series are so amazing I have a really hard time choosing a favourite, I just love them all so much! The epilogue had to be the best epilogue ever since Clockwork Princess! Daemon and Katy are getting married! And having a real wedding with everything included! Dawson and Beth had their baby; the first Origin to be a girl and named her Ashley, after Ash because she died trying to save Beth. Dee and Archer are finally together, and they're just so cute! And the world is finally going back to being somewhat normal. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I can't believe the Lux series is over. I had such a blast reading this book and I really hope we get to see their wedding because Jennifer already wrote a short story on her blog that takes place a few years after the Opposition epilogue saying that Katy and Daemon are having a baby boy and naming him Adam!

*Info on book taken from*

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Published: Simon & Schuster, May 6th, 2014
Pages: 449
Source: Purchased, hardcover
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 5/5 (96%)

How I Felt: I really enjoyed this book! I read it while I was on vacation, so I only read it chapters at a time and I was so angry about that because I needed to keep reading! The story had such strong underlying tales of the importance of friendship, not something you see a lot of in book because most things are about romance, and I really appreciated that aspect of the story. This book has brought me to better appreciate Morgan Matson's writing style, I love how she intertwines flashbacks or memories into the story to give the reader a better understanding of the characters. I really enjoyed the fact that we got to learn about what happened to her other characters; Amy and Roger through these as well. But this was one of those contemporaries where it ends right after we get a resolution with the two main characters, there were still a bunch of other characters we needed resolution with and I just wanted to see the characters together for at least two or three more chapters. I also love that both of her books that I've read include playlists because if you play the songs while reading the book, it allows you to relate more to the character and feel like you're in the story with them. Emily's relationship with her brother; Beckett was really distant in the beginning, but I really enjoyed watching them form a stronger brother-sister bond throughout the story. My favourite character would have to be Collins (Matt), I thought he was hilarious and such a good friend to Dawn, Frank and Emily. I just wish that we could've seen his and Emily's friendship resolve at the end of the book. I thought Dawn was a great friend for Emily, especially after what happened with Sloane. Again, I wish there was a resolution between her and Emily at the end of the book. Now I think we need to discuss Emily. When we're first introduced to her she's this shy quiet girl that follows Sloane everywhere and does almost anything she tells her to do, and when she doesn't do exactly what she wants she's quick to apologize and appease her. By the end of this book though Emily has changed into a much better, more independent version of herself. When Sloane left her the list to accomplish over the summer, it really pushed Emily's boundaries and got her out of her comfort zone in order to grow as a person. At the beginning of the book I was a little annoyed by Emily because she was so lost on what to do because Sloane was gone, it was like she wasn't able to function without Sloane standing there telling her what to do. Frank, Collins, and Dawn really helped her to become that better, more out-going, independent  person that didn't constantly need someone standing over her shoulder. For those reasons this book has one of the best character developments I've read about in a long time. Emily is a great role-model in many ways, she had a goal set in front of her and so she went out and accomplished it; despite the fact that it was sometime uncomfortable. I thought the Living Room Theatre ordeal her parents group of friends took turns hosting was really interesting and such a fun idea! (One that I would probably never participate in). Overall I really enjoyed this book, I found once I got passed 50 or so pages the pace really picked up, and it became a much more enjoyable, fun read and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone!

Favourite Quotes:
  • “I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.”
  • “All the stuff you can’t wait to get away from, until it’s not there anymore, and then you miss it like crazy.”
  • “Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what.
    The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home.
    And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.”
  • “It just gets hard, always being someone's second choice”
  • “When you move as much as I know how it ends. You promise to stay in touch with people, but it doesn't work out. It never does. And you forgot about what the friendship used to be like, why you liked that person. And I hated it. And I just didn't want to do it again. Not with you.”
  • “I was speaking without thinking about it first, not hesitating, just saying what I felt first.”
  • “Do you not like The Beatles?" Frank asked, sounding shocked. "Do you also not like sunshine and laughter and puppies? I don't think the Beatles get enough recognition. I mean, when you look at their body of work and how they changed music forever. I think there should be federal holidays and parades”
***Quotes taken from Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson and***
*Info on book taken from*

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Published: Simon & Schuster, May 4th, 2010
Pages: 392
Source: Purchased, paperback
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 (90%)

How I Felt: This was such a good book, but it followed in typical contemporary style; personally I feel like the book needed three more chapters at least. Although I did love the progression of the story, and the development of the characters. I loved how Amy really grew into herself throughout the course of the book, I was so worried because she was so sad all the time; which of course is understandable, I also felt bad for her because she didn't really have anyone to talk to about what happened since her mother and brother started ignoring her. My favourite character would have to be Bronwyn because she was nice and helpful toward Amy from the moment they met and I knew since we were told she had clothes everywhere that should would give a lot to Amy. Amy's reunion with Charlie was so touching, I was waiting the whole time for them to start talking again so I was really happy when they finally did. I would've liked to see her have a conversation with her mom when she finally made it to the house in Connecticut, and have some sort of closure with her before the book ended, because I feel like that aspect was left open-ended. The addition of pictures and receipts in this book was really interesting and cool, it really added to the story and gave readers a better understanding of the character's surroundings, and it was overall just a fun thing to see because they were so unique. The way the flash backs were incorporated really helped to give a better understanding of what happened in Amy's family, and it gave a much better explanation than if we were to have Amy just talk about it in the present. I didn't give this book 5 stars because again I feel like it ended too soon, and also I kept coming across a lot of common descriptions that are in a lot of other books that made this book feel repetitive at times, and for me, took away from some of the uniqueness of the story. (i.e.: "I let out the breath I didn't know I was holding" or "We were so close I just had to turn my head and we would kiss".) Overall I really enjoyed this book, it was a great story told in a very interesting way. As a whole I very much enjoyed Morgan's writing style and I'm interested to read her other books. I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good road trip!

Favourite Quotes:
  • “Tomorrow will be better.”
    “But what if it’s not?” I asked.
    “Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”
  • “The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren't looking for them.”
  • “Saying good-bye is basically an invitation not to see a person again. It's making it okay for that to be the last conversation you have. So if you don't say it--if you leave the conversation open--it means you'll have to see them again."
  • “It’s not about the destination. It’s getting there that’s the good part."
  • “You've got to have pride in your home. You are where you're from. Otherwise, you're always going to be lost.”
  • “If you like everything, that’s basically just saying that you don’t really like anything.”
  • “Ad astra per aspera, to the stars through adversity”
  • “He told me that if you yelled out "JAMBA!" at full volume, all the employees would yell back "JUICE!" He lied.”
***Quotes taken from Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson and***
*Information on book taken from*

Monday, 4 August 2014

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Published: Harlequin Teen, July 31, 2012
Pages: 392
Source: Hardcover, Library
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 5/5 (98%)

How I Felt: Wow, just wow. This book was so good! THE FEELS! It wasn't your normal cutesy contemporary romance. This had depth, meaning and was realistic, with those cute moments added in to balance everything out. The amount of character development in this book was astounding! I loved Noah and Echo from the moment we saw them together, I just wish we had more of the book to see them together. This whole situation with Echo's mom really scared me because I felt so bad for the things Echo had to go through. Lila was one of my favourite characters, I love how she was there for Echo no matter what happened, and when she stood with her when she showed her scars; cry-worthy. Grace. I hated her so much, I especially hated how Echo tried so hard to win her back as a friend. She was so mean and she had the nerve to seek Echo out and talk to her right after she insulted her in gym, she was so stuck up and full of herself and that really got under my skin because I know people like her and it's just so aggravating. Speaking of vain people, Luke. I don't like this guy, how he quickly gets over Echo and then comes running back when he thinks he can use her again, meanwhile he can't even stand to look at her scars, he has the nerve to be disgusted with them, well guess what Luke I'm repulsed by you. Her dad was an okay guy, at first I thought he was a coward, but by the end of the book I excepted him and sort of forgave him. Ashley I saw as a snooty, rich person, but she did care for Echo, just didn't know how to show it. Mrs. Collins was the best, I loved her. She was so supportive of both Noah and Echo. Noah was just the perfect person, constantly trying to protect everyone he loved and get his brothers back. When he and Isaiah stood up to Beth's mom and boyfriend I immediately loved them even more. Echo is such an amazing character. Strong, brave, all the traits you hope to see in a protagonist, but her traits took on a more realistic scenario. This book was just fantastic! Highly recommend for contemporary lovers and non-contemporary lovers alike.

Favourite Quotes:
  • “Are you ready to take the ACT on Saturday?" my father asked.
    Did chickens enjoy being put on trucks labeled KFC? "Sure.”
  • “I watched you battle against the worst memory of your life and I watched you win. Make no mistake, Echo. I battled right beside you.”
  • “The worst type of crying wasn't the kind everyone could see--the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”
  • “Because growing up means making tough choices, and doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily mean doing the thing that feels good.”
  • “I saw the world in black and white instead of the vibrant colours and shades I knew existed.”
  • “Sometimes when you see the line, you think it's a good idea to cross it--until you do.”
***Quotes taken from Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry and***

Sunday, 3 August 2014

10 Most Anticpated YA Novels of 2014 (August-December)

1. Opposition by Jennifer. L. Armentrout. Release Date: August 5th, 2014
The fifth and final book in the Lux series, which is a sci-fi book set in the real world, and follows the story of Katy who loves all things books.
Paperback: 400 pages
Published by Entangled Teen

2. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. Release Date: September 23, 2014
A new standalone story from the author of Uglies.
Hardcover: 608 pages
Published by Simon Pulse
Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

3. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Release Date: August 14, 2014
    The highly anticipated conclusion in the Anna and the French Kiss contemporary companion trilogy.
      • Hardcover: 339 pages
      • Published by Dutton

4. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Release Date: November 4, 2014
The long awaited conclusion to the thrilling Mara Dyer Series.
Hardcover: 464 pages
Published by Simon & Schuster

5. In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken. Release Date: October 7, 2014
The third and final book in the New York Times bestselling Darkest Minds trilogy.
Hardcover: 496 pages
Published by Disney Hyperion

6. The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Release Date: October 7, 2014
The first book in a new series from bestselling author Marie Lu (author of the Legend trilogy).
Hardcover: 368 pages
Published by Putnam
A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

7. Atlantia by Ally Condie. Release Date: October 28, 2014
A new standalone from the author of the Matched Series.
Hardcover: 368 pages
Published by Dutton
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

8. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White. Release Date: September 9, 2014
    A standalone from bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy and Mind Games duology.
Hardcover: 228 pages
Published by Harper Teen
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

9. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey. Release Date: September 16, 2014
The second book in the action-packed, sci-fi, 5th Wave trilogy.
Hardcover: 480 pages
Published by Putnam
A movie about this series is in the making starring Chloe Moretz.

10. The Jewel Amy Ewing. Release Date: September 2, 2014
A debut dystopian novel.
Hardcover: 358 pages
Published by HarperTeen

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.
Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

These are my top 10 books that I'm most exited for this year that have yet to be released! There are many more but this post would be really long if I included them all! :)

***Information about books and synopsises taken from***

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